Develop dance partnering techniques

This unit describes the performance outcomes, skills and knowledge required to apply basic techniques for dancing with a partner in any dance style.


The skills and knowledge outlined in this unit apply to dancers in any style or genre. Knowing how to dance with a partner is essential in all performance contexts - from social to community to professional.

At this level partnering techniques would be simple in nature and not include movements such as overhead lifts which require a high level of fitness and advanced technique.

Work is usually undertaken under supervision, though some autonomy and judgement can be expected given the nature of dance performance.


Not applicable.

Elements and Performance Criteria

1. Develop an understanding of partnering in dance

1.1. View a range of videos as the basis for discussing issues associated with dance partnering

1.2. Identify conventional gender roles in partnering and ways they have been challenged in modern dance practice

2. Prepare the body for dance

2.1. Perform basic warm-upandcool-down activities

2.2. Adhere to injury-prevention techniques

2.3. Take common health concerns for dancers into account when devising own physical conditioning program

3. Practise partnering techniques

3.1. Under the guidance of mentors or teachers, practise a range of basic partnering techniques

3.2. Work on developing trust with partner

3.3. Develop confidence in dealing with variations in ways signals are given or interpreted by either partner

3.4. Develop a mutually supportive approach to learning steps and movements

3.5. Follow advice from others about ways to improve partnering technique

4. Perform simple sequences with a partner

4.1. Clarify with relevant personnel requirements for short partnered sequences

4.2. Rehearse sequences, noting critical points that may cause difficulties

4.3. Agree on ways to recover from potential problems with partner and practise these as required

4.4. Perform sequences applying balance, coordination, technique and expressive skills to achieve harmony of movement with partner

4.5. Evaluate performance with others and note areas for future improvement

Required Skills

Required skills

communication skills to:

discuss dance partnering issues with relevant personnel

respond appropriately to feedback on own skill development and performance

initiative and enterprise skills to:

work creatively with music and dance

interpret and provide signals to partner while dancing together

respond creatively and flexibly to partner while dancing together

learning skills to:

improve own dance partnering techniques through practice and a positive attitude to dancing

develop a movement memory

planning and organising skills to plan practice time

problem-solving skills to anticipate and prepare for issues that may arise when dancing with a partner

self-management skills to:

arrive punctually at classes, rehearsals and performances

dress appropriately

observe dance discipline and follow direction

apply safe dance practices

teamwork skills to:

work closely with a dance partner

work collaboratively with others involved in dance classes and performances.

Required knowledge

principles and conventions of partnering in dance

partnering techniques relevant to chosen dance style

principles underlying dance movements and techniques, such as:

relationship with gravity

spatial awareness

successional movement

use of breath




shifting weight

anatomical foundations, including:

articulation of the spine

engagement of the feet

bases of support, including feet, legs, hands, arms and torso

range of motion of the joints

differentiation of the legs and pelvis

importance of healthy food choices in relation to wellbeing and injury prevention, including five food groups and recommended daily amounts

terminology relevant to chosen dance style.

Evidence Required

The evidence guide provides advice on assessment and must be read in conjunction with the performance criteria, required skills and knowledge, range statement and the Assessment Guidelines for the Training Package.

Overview of assessment

Critical aspects for assessment and evidence required to demonstrate competency in this unit

Evidence of the ability to:

perform a simple dance sequence with a partner on at least two occasions

demonstrate competent execution of basic techniques when performing, including:

coordinated footwork

appropriate arm lines

correct body positioning in relation to partner




supporting or being supported

respond appropriately to constructive feedback on own performance.

Context of and specific resources for assessment

Assessment must ensure access to appropriate dance performance areas or spaces.

Method of assessment

A range of assessment methods should be used to assess practical skills and knowledge. The following examples are appropriate for this unit:

direct questioning combined with review of portfolios of evidence

third-party workplace reports of on-the-job performance

evaluation of performance (live or recorded)

verbal or written questioning to test knowledge as listed in the required skills and knowledge section of this unit

case studies and scenarios as a basis for discussion of issues and challenges that arise in the context of developing dance partnering techniques

direct observation of candidate in classes.

Assessment methods should closely reflect workplace demands (e.g. literacy) and the needs of particular groups (e.g. people with disabilities and people who may have literacy or numeracy difficulties, such as speakers of languages other than English, remote communities and those with interrupted schooling).

Guidance information for assessment

Holistic assessment with other units relevant to the industry sector, workplace and job role is recommended, for example:

CUADAN306A Increase depth of ballet dance technique

CUADAN308A Increase depth of contemporary dance technique

CUAOHS301A Condition the body for dance performances

CUAPRF307A Develop performance techniques.

Range Statement

The range statement relates to the unit of competency as a whole. It allows for different work environments and situations that may affect performance. Bold italicised wording, if used in the performance criteria, is detailed below. Essential operating conditions that may be present with training and assessment (depending on the work situation, needs of the candidate, accessibility of the item, and local industry and regional contexts) may also be included.

Issues may include:

role of partnering in different dance styles and genres, including:

ballroom or social dance:

Latin American


ballet (pas de deux)




physical strength for lifts


contact improvisation

interpreting signals

trust between partners

multiple partners.

Gender roles may relate to:




‘showcasing’ the ballerina



ballerina as the primary focus

challenging conventions, including:

same gender partnering

female lifting male.

Warm-up activitiesmay include:

minor stretches

joint-mobility exercises

flexibility exercises

aerobic activities

coordinated breathing activities.

Cool-down activitiesmay include:

floor work


Injury-prevention techniquesmay include:

warming up and cooling down before and after class and performance

wearing appropriate clothing and footwear

applying intent and focus while dancing

not overstretching

wearing appropriate bandaging and bracing where appropriate to support body

appropriate diet and rest

using appropriate equipment, such as barre, mirror and sprung floors

attention to teacher.

Common health concernsmay include:

lack of rest

poor diet

lack of understanding of basic anatomy and physiology of dance

lack of warming up and cooling down properly

overstraining the muscles


Basic partnering techniquesmay relate to:

coordination of footwork

using arm lines appropriately and extensively

assisting with jumps

body positioning in relation to partner






Othersmay include:





audience members.

Requirements may include:

dance style





Performing arts - dance

Employability Skills

This unit contains employability skills.

Licensing Information

No licensing, legislative, regulatory or certification requirements apply to this unit at the time of endorsement.